The NY Hall of Science
is one of the most beloved science-based attractions in all of New York City, and it’s a destination loved by both children and adults alike. The NY Hall of Science is often overlooked when it comes to planning a trip to NYC. Especially since there are so many great things to do and see while you’re in town.
However, if you have a child who is interested in the human body, animals, chemistry, physics. There’s no better spot to spend time in than the NY Hall of Science. If you’re planning a trip to NYC soon. Or you’re a local looking for something new and fun to do in town. Check out this outstanding institution for learning and fun.
Here’s everything you need to know before you plan a trip to the NY Hall of Science, including how to get there, what to expect when you arrive, what to look for once you’re inside, and much, much more.
So, What is the NY Hall of Science?
So, the NY Hall of Science—also known today as NYSCI—might sound familiar to you, but do you actually know what the attraction is? The NY Hall of Science is a science-focused museum located in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, a neighborhood in Queens
. The NY Hall of Science opened in a building that was once used for the famous 1964 world’s fair. Inside the museum, you can find exhibits about biology, chemistry, physics, and much, much more. The NY Hall of Science is huge, with more than 400 exhibits to explore. This means that if you’re planning to visit when you come to NYC, don’t just leave and extra hour or two to wander through. Instead, dedicate adequate time to touring the museum and taking in all of the fascinating exhibits and events that it has to offer.
The History of the NY Hall of Science
The NY Hall of Science located in a building from the 1964 World’s Fair. It was actually conceived of and created for that world’s fair. At the time, it was one of the only museums in the world thats dedication was to science. Many lovers of the field flocked here to learn what was inside. The appreciation of the NY Hall of Science that it remained open after the fair closed. It exists today as a thriving cultural institution in NYC.
Renovation happened in 1979. That forced NY Hall of Science closed. It didn’t reopen until 1986, when the focus of the museum shifted away from including any science fiction and towards being completely factually and scientifically accurate.Over the course of the history of the museum, many attractions have been added to make it a world-class museum. Some of the additions include a gift shop, cafe, theater, and more. Today, the museum is focused on catering to children up to high school aged kids. The NY Hall of Science has permanent exhibitions and ones that are temporary and touring, so there’s always something new and exciting to see when you go.
Visiting the NY Hall of Science: the Basics
So, you know that you want to go to the NY Hall of Science when you go to NYC. But, how do you go about doing it? Here are the most important things you need to know so you can plan a successful visit.
Getting to Flushing Meadows-Corona Park
The NY Hall of Science may be located in Queens. However, its location in the popular Flushing Meadows-Corona Park makes it relatively easy to get to it, no matter where you’re staying in the city. One of the best ways to get to the park is via subway. The 7 train, which runs through the middle of Manhattan and then into Queens, runs all the way to the NY Hall of Science. Hop aboard the 7 train at Times Square or Grand Central Station, then ride it out to Queens. Once you’re there, you can walk to the museum and tour through it, then easily hop aboard the 7 train to take it back into Manhattan or connect to any other part of the city where you might be staying.
Credit: Leonard Zhukovsky / Shutterstock
Make sure you plan your visit to the NY Hall of Science at a time that works for your itinerary, as well as a time that the museum is open and you’ll have plenty of opportunity to tour through. The NY Hall of Science’s hours are as follows:
Getting into the Museum
Once you arrive at the NY Hall of Science, you’ll need to buy tickets to get into the museum. If you simply want to tour through the permanent exhibits in the museum, you can purchase a general admission ticket. The tickets are $16 for adults 18&older, $13 for children 2-17, and $13 for college students with ID and senior citizens. If you want to take advantage of free hours so you don’t have to spend money on tickets, the NY Hall of Science offers free general admission on Fridays from 2-5pm and Sundays from 10-11am.There are special exhibitions at the NY Hall of Science that you can visit for an additional fee. To do this, you can buy an All Inclusive ticket, which gets you into the museum, the science playground, Rocket Park mini golf, and the museum’s 3D theater. Tickets are $30 for adults and $25 for children, students, and seniors.If you plan to make a whole day of your visit to the NY Hall of Science, consider eating lunch at the museum’s cafe, Butter Beans Kitchen. The restaurant has a selection of food, including soups, appetizers, burgers, salads, and more. You can also get small snacks there. The restaurant is open from 9:30 am on weekdays and 10 am on weekends, closing at 3:30pm Monday to Thursday, 4pm on Friday, and 5pm on weekends.
Becoming a Member
If you live in the area and plan to visit often, or if you know you’re coming to New York a lot and you’ll be back to visit again, it could pay to become a member of the NY Hall of Science. Memberships to the NY Hall of Science are $50 for individuals or $60 for a premium individual membership. Family pass memberships are $85, premium family memberships are $125, and family explorer memberships are $250. Membership to the NY Hall of Science gets you unlimited visits, free parking, free coat check, free access to the science playground, 2 free guest passes, access to members only events, access to exhibition previews, reciprocal membership to other science centers and museums, discounts for other educational programs, 10% discounts at the museum shop and cafe, and much more.
What to Do When You Visit the NY Hall of Science
Now that you know how to get to the NY Hall of Science, you may want to know more about what there is to do there. That way you can prioritize your visit and make sure you get in all of the activities that you feel most excited about. Below are some of the most popular parts of the NY Hall of Science, as well as the additional related attractions that you can take advantage of on your trip.
The 3D theater is part of the NY Hall of Science. It is a movie theater screen that visitors watch wearing 3D glasses. The theater plays both educational films that geared towards science museums. As well as feature films—both animated and live action. The theater offers an impressive sensory experience. Including a 5.1 surround sound speaker system and a screen of 22×12.6 feet.
For anyone that loves interaction and animation, Connected Worlds is a must-see. This attraction allows you to feel immersed in large projected images in the museum’s Great hall. Visitors can use gestures to move and manipulate the things they see on the screens around them.
Want to get your feet wet actually engineering and creating new things? Check out Design Lab, a place where you can learn about—then build your own—systems, circuits, machines, and more.
Do you have a very little one who you’ll be taking to the NY Hall of Science? If so, one stop on your itinerary should be Preschool Place. This attractions geared towards kids under 6. It is a safe, protected area with toys that can’t cause injuries. Also, allows kids to do things like play with toy trains, learn about butterflies, steer a pretend rocket ship. If you are going to bring your little one here, make sure there’s an adult who will stay with your child while he plays in this area.
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The Evolution-Health Connection
Learn about how human bodies became the way that they did at the Evolution-Health Connection. This exhibit shows how evolution played a role in things like diseases, natural selection, health, and more.
Math is an important part of science and nature. Go to the Mathematica exhibit at the NY Hall of Science to learn more about how math plays into nature, computing and more. This is a special exhibit at the NY Hall of Science. Built by IBM for the original world’s fair, and is thus also an opportunity to experience a piece of NY history.
There’s a lot about sports that also has to do with science. Learn about the connection at the Sports Challenge section of the NY Hall of Science. You can test skills related to baseball, rock climbing, surfing and more. You can also educate yourself about physics, biology, and more play into sports and performance. This area contains a host of challenges for visitors related to sports, including the following:
- Balance Challenge
- Bounce Challenge
- Climbing Challenge
- Leap Challenge
- Pitching Challenge
- Race Challenge
- Secrets of Spin
- Reaction Time Challenge
- Trajectory Challenge
NYC has plenty of zoos
, but the NY Hall of Science is also an excellent opportunity for families to learn about wildlife. Wild Minds is a section of the museum completely dedicated to animal behavior. You can learn a little bit more about what animals are thinking and feeling when they behave certain ways.
Rocket Park Mini Golf
Do you have a competitive little one who also loves sports? Or, do you want to have some friendly competition during your visit to the NY Hall of Science? If so, pay the extra admission and visit Rocket Park Mini Golf. This is a nine hole mini golf course is part of the outdoor exhibit Rocket Park. You can gain admission by buying an all inclusive ticket or only paying to play. The best part about the Rocket Park Mini golf course at the NY Hall of Science is that it’s also about learning, in addition to having fun. The course explores several important scientific concepts related to space, including gravity, escape velocity, gravitational assist, and more. Anyone who loves space or wants to learn more about how the same concepts that launch rockets apply to golf should give this course a try.
Credit: Leonard Zhukovsky / Shutterstock
The NY Hall of Science: A Must Visit in NYC for Lovers of Science and Fun
If you’re planning a trip to NYC in the near future, make sure that the NY Hall of Science is on your itinerary. Whether you’re traveling with children, live in the area and have kids who are into science, or just love to learn yourself, you’ll find something fascinating and fun at this Queens-based attraction. Make sure to check the website for the museum before you go, so you can learn about any special exhibitions that are happening during your trip, or whether there are special events that you should try to attend while you’re there.